Ruby and Python, them and the differences

George Marr on April 10, 2019

Ruby and Python are recognised as two of the most used and popular languages out there with continuous growth each day. Both updated regularly an... [Read Full]
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I like Ruby, I like Ruby on Rails, and I like comparing Python to Ruby, but it's common knowledge that Python is growing at a faster rate than Ruby. I don't think the title of the piece serves your content.

I find that the more specific my titles are to my content, the better results I get on my articles on this site.


Yeah, nice post—probably the wrong title.

Ruby and Python are similar languages but have found pretty different niches. Rails is probably more of a runaway success than Django, but Python is growing in popularity in areas that Ruby isn't even playing in.

Both exciting languages, I've always been drawn more towards Ruby but the Python community is constantly amazing me with the things people are building.


I prefer ruby over python but I was of the impression that Python might kill off ruby


Honestly I don't believe Python will kill Ruby, it's clear that it has a much larger gathering but with the state Rubys language, APIs, communities etc are in I believe it could be catching up to Python


Yeah, in the enterprise sphere I run in (silicon valley adjacent) rails is pretty much gone and replaced with react frontends and kube/serverless backends for new projects.

The java stuff has stayed steady, but I’m seeing more and more javascript from the new projects.

Python lives because of ML and ops now. Python 2 becomes EOL in 2020, and most projects have finished their conversion years ago.

Ruby... has metasploit, I guess? That codebase is a bit of a mess though... a testament to “clever” ruby.


Python isn’t going anywhere, in fact its popularity is growing because of its use in machine learning.


Of course Ruby won't kill off Python. I've spent almost all of my experience using Python, and I guess Ruby and Python can each do their own unique things, but I feel like I can achieve whatever I want to do in Python.

About Ruby having a "better" syntax, that's a matter of opinion. It ultimately depends on what you like more. I don't have a problem with either of them.

Both Python and Ruby are good languages, but I see Python used more for things in general.


Ruby and Python are utilized for two different things and they can co-exist.


I really don't think Ruby has much in terms of data science compared to Python. My experience has also been that Python is better for DevOps; the libraries are better and Python tends to be installed on machines by default. I'm also seeing newer configuration management tools being written in Python.


So many years spent in development. Never seen any language killing another. Developers usually use wishful thinking. VB is still alive in workplace. So is java, so is C#. Rust is not killing C++. Node is not going to die after Deno. Ruby is pain on Windows. Python runs smoothly everywhere. Nobody is dying.


I think that was a nice article with a terrible title. It could have been "Here's a comparison of Ruby and Python" or you could have kept it the same but started the first sentence with "In my opinion no, ".

That's the definition of click bait, and people who make click bait, are going to burn in the fiery pits hell, as stated in the second edition of the internet hand book chapter 24 page 357. Good day to you George


Personally, I don't think any language can really kill off another. C++ didn't kill C, and neither Ruby or Python are likely to replace the other. Both Ruby and Python are great scripting languages with benefits and tradeoffs.


See the StackOverflow Developer Survey:

Python, the fastest-growing major programming language, has risen in the ranks of programming languages in our survey yet again, edging out Java this year and standing as the second most loved language (behind Rust).

I'm a personal fan of Ruby and I just think it's a wonderful language. I remember reading The Ruby Programming Language cover-to-cover my senior year of college and just falling in love. Up until then I had only written lower level languages, such as C, C++, Java, Verilog, and Matlab. It was such a breath of fresh air to see a language made for programmers and not for processors.

However, here's what I recall happening:

Python focused on pragmatism and ease of use.

This led to it's adoption in the scientific community and eventually as a great First Language to Learn and eventually as a go-to scripting language and eventually as the go-to general language of choice for many.

Ruby focused on being elegant and a joy for programmers. It focused on developer speed at the cost of execution speed. This was still a contentious topic at the time. It was under the radar practically completely until Ruby on Rails came out. It was HOT. But it also kind of shoehorned Ruby into being the language to use Rails with. I do remember the Agile community particularly loving Ruby exactly because of the developer vs processor speed tradeoff mentioned before.

Python won out by gathering momentum. People want to program in languages that others are using as well because that means there are useful libraries and frameworks to help you with your problem.

Unfortunately, Ruby got married to Rails, and when giant tech companies started moving away from Rails due to scaling issues, others followed suit (even if they didn't need to and they wish they had the scaling problems Twitter did). Once Rails lost the spot as the New Hot Thing, it also lost the appeal to developers looking for a fun, shiny thing to play with.

Regardless of which "wins" I think they're both quite enjoyable to write in. They let you focus on what you really want to do with your program.

The main worry I have about the future of both languages is their viability in the future where we have fewer and fewer individual CPU-core gains and move to more cores and more servers working on problems. To that end, I've begun looking into Go and have been impressed but find some things too low-level.

So to that end, for something that blends the best of Ruby and Go, I turn my sights on the new kid on the block: Crystal

P.S. It may sound like I hop between languages often, but that's only because in my 9to5 I use Java about 99% of the time, so I use my free time to play in the way that I often can't in my day job.


Ruby has some really serious design flaws. I wrote about them some years ago (, and some of them, such as not having a well defined grammar, are truly appalling. But, as JavaScript has taught us, flaws in the language are trumped by other concerns.



Some companies don't use it so if you're going in as the only one good luck.

Is there a single language this isn't true for?


The popularity of programming languages is very regional. I'm in the Phoenix area and so it's a bit of a head-scratcher to hear that Ruby is "popular". Around here Ruby on Rails completely died out around 2013/2014 and the only time your hear about companies using Ruby (that aren't geographically distributed teams) is if the company is using Chef. Whereas Java and .NET are (annoyingly) over-popular, but I've been told that the popularity of .NET diminishes when compared to the bay area.

Four years ago I was trying to join a team that is geographically distributed and the hiring manager mentioned he feels like he can almost tell where someone is located based on the technologies listed on their resume. He volunteered the difference in popularity between Matlab and R as being night and day between San Francisco and Dallas (where he is located).

Devs that I've worked with who are based out of Atlanta I've noticed are significantly more familiar with Ruby, and JavaScript libraries that "feel" very Ruby-like, such as Ember and Coffeescript (libraries that I've never yet seen in a front-end requirements list for a job in the Phoenix area).

So yeah, I think Ruby's popularity may be dependent on your geographical vantage point.


I continue to be baffled.

I just don't see Ruby's usage growing, I would be surprised if they were not shrinking, and that is from a Worldwide perspective. The only places it is continued to be used is mainly US / Japan and UK. And I did argue even in those places the jobs are shrinking as well. They are mostly looking for senior developers to pick up the mess they started with Rails. Statistically Ruby is ~90% Rails, with the rest spilt between Chef, Other Web Framework, and Security uses. All the Ruby Jobs in South Korea, China, Taiwan, India are mostly gone. DHH is right about developers being expensive and Server is comparatively cheap, but where in other parts of the world you can hire a whole team of dev with the same budget of one in Silicon Valley. ( Ok the quality aren't the same but you get the idea. )

Ruby and Rails as community needs to grow. I recently had a conversation with a Ruby developers in China, he said the love of Ruby does not feed you. At the end of the day you need companies willing to use and trust Ruby, more demand, and hopefully more supply. He is now doing Python and Java at work. Enterprise that originally used Ruby are also considering moving away. And that is a worrying sign. Just like the economy, you don't see the collapse until it happens. It just wish we could do something before it is too late.


I'm honsetly surprised that Ruby didn't die on its own until now. 😂

But from what I read it seems like the community is simply super inviting and friendly.


I think I just read a not so well put together article. I don't like this comparison at all. Superficial statements and no facts.

"Incredibly easy to deploy"
And Django not? Why?

"Scalable caching system?"
And Rails caching is not scalable why?

"Really overkill for smaller projects"
And Rails not? Why?

"Everything gets deployed together?"
And in Rails not?

Plus the sh*t title that does not make any sense either..... since you compare web frameworks and not languages, not to mention Python being around 10x more popular.


I don't think that ruby will be ever popular as python is. By my opinion python is ruby killing.


Somebody mentioned Stack Overflow survey above, there's also Tiobe and Pypl rankings and they all show the same thing: python is on the rise while Ruby is in decline.
However, standard caveats regarding flaws associated with their significance and "correlation is not causation" apply.
Me personally? Let's just say I wouldn't bet on Ruby.


"...some people like Brainfuck...." Those people are called sadists.


I don't think any language will really kill off any other language, and I don't really understand why there would be any competition between them.

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